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Cutting with stick welder??

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  • Cutting with stick welder??

    I've read in a couple of places that you can use a stick welder for cutting steel but there is never any clarification as to how it's done and I've never heard (in my meager experience) of anyone actually doing it. Is this some sort of exotic technique or do they mean that if you screw up, you burn a hole in your work piece? Thanks!

  • #2
    IanC,
    Yes you can cut steel with a stick welder using 6010 1/8 rod and having a large enough machine. We use this process on a regular basis at my "day" job. Please be aware that we use this more for removing old pipe than for any real "quality" work. I have done this in my own shop before I had the plasma and if you are careful and watch the metal in question you can make a decent cut. Just remember that it takes lots of practice and a strong machine to do anything remotely critical. If you have access to a plasma or OA that's a much better choice, maybe the ARCAIR. Good luck.
    Mike
    MACH4

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    • #3
      Ian, I'd like to add that there is a process called carbon arc gouging. A stick welding power source is used with a carbon "straw" as the electrode, the arc creates the heat to melt the metal and compressed air is blown through the carbon to blow away the molten metal.

      I have also seen cutting electrodes at the store, but I don't know much about them.

      Jason

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      • #4
        We use OAC for most of our needs in the shop, we break out the plasma for stuff thinner than 1/4". I've only ever used the CAC-A process for back-gouging, washing off backing strips, and the occasional u-groove preparation. I'm not sure if I even wanna try the version without compressed air.
        The CAC-A setup we have going is the afforementioned Arcair where the compressed air jets out from underneath a round, halfround, or rectangular, copper coated carbon electrode. The air jets through the arc, effectively blowing out the molten metal underneath. Jason either means Oxy-arc cutting, or has a setup I've never seen before, but oxy-arc is mainly for underwater and requires a special torch, not to mention, oxygen.
        Now that we're way off topic, cutting with stick: the cheapest way is like Mach4 said, with a 1/8 cellulose based mild steel electrode like a 6010 or 6011, dampened with water. Switch your machine to Electrode Negative and give it arround 95 amps. I've never done this personally, but the electrode should burn really slowly and the extra steam will help blow out the molten. That's a dampened electrode btw, not soaking wet, and the current settings are, of course, just a generalization.

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        • #5
          Welder-X,

          Why do use use CAC over OAC?

          Regards,
          Bill
          Bill C
          "The more I learn about welding the more I find there is to learn..."

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          • #6
            Well, like I said, I only use CAC for back-gouging, washing off backing strips and the like. I find it a whole lot faster and easier to perform those operations with the CAC-A process than with OAC washing and gouging tips. PAC is better for cutting light guage material because the heat affected zone is so very narrow (right tool for the right job). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE burnin', but when the technology is at your fingertips.....

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            • #7
              IanC,
              I have cut with rods on several occasions. I just used regular 6011/6010 rods. I used both an engine driven welder and a 220v shop ac welder. Crank the machine up as high as it will go and then arc it(the bigger the machine the more electricty you will have. I have never wetted the rod. I have cut as big as 1/4" with it (although that big used up the rods pretty fast). For expanded metal I have not found a quicker way to cut it than arcing. My plasma will not even cut it that fast and the O/A well,,,it gets left in the dust. It does NOT however cut as cleanly as other methods, so you may need to do some grinding once you are done.

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              • #8
                CUTTING WITH RODS

                U EVER USED A GOUGING ROD

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                • #9
                  Other than carbon arc gouging there are cut-trodes. They are designed to produce a high hat and vaporize the base metal. You use them differently that you would air arc. Certanium 100 is a good cuttrode. They will drill a hole, but are better at grooving. You lay the rod almost parallel to the surface and push it, and it creates a groove. It is better than using a welding rod at high heat since it doesn't blow carbon into the weld area.
                  Arcin' and sparkin', Rocky D <><
                  Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
                  IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A TEACHER...
                  IF YOU'RE READING THIS IN ENGLISH, THANK A SOLDIER!

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                  • #10
                    I have cut with 6010s, but it is usually when i am up 100' with no torch and need to cut something unexpectedly. Then you just crank the remote and gouge away. But if the torch was anywhere arround i wouldn't.

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                    • #11
                      We had a welder on the farm when I was a kid that had a special cutting ground that you pluged into. If I rember correctly, it took the electrode up to 350 A. and would litterally just burn metal and blow it away in a totally out of control manner. The cut wasn't clean (even and pretty) at all, but it was the only way we had to cut metal and it definately did the job. We also didn't use any special rod, just the same rod we welded with. I think the brand was a 20th Century welder. I don't remember how much current it took, but when it was wired the power line for it came in the shed directly from the utility pole and it had it's own switch box.
                      Last edited by alanh; 07-01-2006, 09:48 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Why do use use CAC over OAC?
                        On heavy plate, especially over 2" thick, CAC is much faster than oxy -fuel. With oxy-fuel, you wait & wait & wait as the preheat flame brings the metal up to temp. With CAC, just blow & go.

                        At work, most CAC is done at 600 amps, with 100 PSI air pressure & 20 CFM air flow. Makes quick work of big plate jobs.

                        Barry Milton
                        ____________________________

                        HTP Invertig 201
                        HTP MIG2400

                        Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
                        Clarke Hotshot

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                        • #13
                          Don't use a 6010, use the right product !!!!!!!!!!!!

                          http://webapp1.cronatronwelding.com/...temNum=CW01906

                          This product has alot less smoke and all you have to do is wire brush it clean after cutting/gouging to prep it for welding. They will work on Mild Steel, Stainless steel, Monel®, Cast Iron and Aluminum. Run them on AC or DC straight around 190 to 200 amps.
                          Last edited by Cronatron Rep; 07-02-2006, 09:20 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I sometimes use the welder to cut with because it is so fast.
                            I did it today on a piece of 1/8" angle. I used a dampened 3/32" 6011 on DC+ at 85-90 amps and cut right through. Just had a little grinding to do to clean up and wo-la !
                            And it only consumed half the rod to complete the cut.
                            Hobart Stickmate LX AC/DC, skil 4-1/2" grinder, OA torches, and a BFH

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                            • #15
                              Cutting with a stick rod is fine if you don't mind it looking like it was chewed in half by a beaver. I did that years ago before I got my oxy/act rig. You do what you can until you have the right tools.
                              What do I know I am just an electronics technician.

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